Book Review #1: The Cuckoo’s Calling


“Unhappy is he whose fame makes his misfortunes famous.”

Lula Landry is dead, her body lies, pale on snow on a cold winter’s night. A high profile model traverses through a jump, her way from the balcony of her flat to the ground, leaving behind the question if it was her own despair that perpetrated the jump or was she knocked off from the balcony?

“The dead could only speak through the mouths of those left behind, and through the signs they left scattered behind them.”

So is the case with Lula, different allies and each with a different story to tell. A foster family, who believes she had the tendency to be ungrateful to the ones who introduced her to luxuries. An admirer who asserts it was the paparazzi that drove her off the balcony. Friends, one who knows she would have called before taking the formidable step, another who refuses to accept that she was suicidal. Some believe that her insecurities have eaten up her life and others that her lover might have pushed her in one of his hissy fits. The police rule it out a suicide for that lack of proof to the contrary. And entrusted with the responsibility to weave together the varied accounts and unveil the real girl who breathed as Lula Landry is Cormoran Strike, the private detective hired by her brother, who seems to have led a life as intriguing as Ms Landry herself.

And the question still remains, ‘Was it her own bent for self destruction or a tragic end authored by a kin?’

For the past six months, I haven’t read a book, precisely I have started many but couldn’t finish them because I soon lost interest. This is my first novel in a long time and I am quite pleased that the jinx was broken with this one. Once I finished reading the novel, I knew this will be the perfect novel to write the first book review for Expressions.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a brilliantly authored thriller which will keep you glued till the last page. It is an immense novel yet Rowling manages to keep the plot taut and as we reach the conclusion, there is not a single end which remains unstraightened. Strike’s character makes one reminiscent of Sherlock (from the BBC television series Sherlock), razor sharp vision backed with the skill of deduction, detached from worldly ties and the silent agility with which he unravels the truth. The beauty of this novel is that Rowling has spun a life like tale, her characters no matter how strong on surface have their own vulnerabilities which they are too scared to expose. Conflicts as, whether ferocity implies vile, the darker facet of fame, trial by media and line between unconditional love and possessiveness, are intricately woven into the tale. The last thriller I read was Gone Girl, though it made for an interesting read but the story shapes up in a very unreal fashion and thus I have fully come to appreciate the execution which has been give to ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’.

If you do not have a reading appetite for a long detailed novel, then you can give this one a pass, otherwise ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ is an excellent read in entirety. Witness the return of J.K. Rowling into what she is known to do best, immersing one into an unfamiliar world as if it were their own.

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